Vol. XXXVIII No. 19--- October 2002

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents
President's Message
Pennies for AFMS Scholarship Fund
AFMS Endowment Fund
Reminders From Your Insurance Chairperson
Junior Activities Report
Club Rockhound of the Year
Fall Business Meeting
Committee Meeting Reservations
Deadline - Committee Chairperson Reports
Award Winning Programs Earn Cash Prizes
Boy, Have We Got A Deal For You
Holloween Safety Tips for Kids and Adults
Field Trips
Fireplace Safety
Attention All Editors
AFMS Code of Ethics

Presidents Message

By Jo Anna Ritchey, CFMS President
CFMS President

     As I write the temperature is expected to be around 100 degrees with a promise that it will be cooler tomorrow. It is with cooler weather that rockhounds usually begin their group activities like field trips and active club programs. It is these group activities that entice people to join clubs-there is safety in numbers for field trips and besides they may lead you to the best location.

    Speaking of field trips, this is the time we must also write our legislatures about our thoughts of keeping the rockhounding areas open. I read an interesting letter on the Internet re why we should emphasize the fact that we do lot of walking and looking in our quest for rocks. This makes us more in tune with some of the hiking groups rather then with some other groups. It is definitely something to think about. We, as a group, are environmentally minded-that is, we care about the area we collect in and are very good about keeping it in good shape. We don't leave trash behind and we are pretty good about filling in holes. Granted the filling in of holes has been at the prompting of the Powers That Be, but being reasonable people we do see the reason for it. I always think of Lavic Siding as an example. Rockhounds have been camping there for over 50 years and it still looks like a clean dry camp area.

    The end of summer also means that the fall meeting in Visalia is around the corner. This year the Board of Directors Meeting is a week early on November 2, 2002. I hope you can come. It is important for the CFMS and for you as Board Members to make the effort to be there. The Board Members are the laison between the CFMS and the local club. Your presence helps us know what is going on at the local level. I think that is important. This is also an opportunity to exchange ideas. As always, I think it is the people present that makes the meeting. Hope to see all of you in Visalia.

Pennies for AFMS Scholarship Fund
Thank you ! Thank You ! Thank You !

By Izzie Burns

    It gives me great pride to announce the Million Penny Scholarship Goal has been reached and exceeded thanks to all of you who saved and collected pennies for this worthy cause. A total of 1,122,530 pennies ($11,225.30) had been deposited with Arlene Burkhalter, AFMS Scholarship Foundation Treasurer before the show. At the AFMS Show this year I received more checks and pennies. Rocky McCall, whom I had heard held a penny search of every member at every meeting, converted the pennies and presented me a check for $160.00. Several others had donations. A little four year old girl had a plastic bag of pennies that she and her brother had found and taken to her grandmother's, Kathy Sahli's, house to add to the penny jar for Izzy's Fund. Many people tossed their change and pennies into The Port Townsend Rock Club Fountain at the AFMS Show. They told me that I had to wade out into it to collect it, but at the last minute they told me that they would take care of that.

    IIt was an interesting year of exciting things happening, such as, when George Browne grabbed the brass bucket in our wishing well and brought it back filled to the brim with not only pennies, but folding money too. A little girl at the Arlington Show, who put pennies in the wishing well and hesitated on tossing in her quarter, but I suggested that she might want to buy something with it. She returned in a few minutes with a handful of change to say that her father had reached unto his pocket and given her all his change when she told him what it was for. The CFMS Vista Club wrote that their club voted to donate 20 cents each, when that only came to $14.00 they passed the hat and collected another $30.00 They challenged other clubs to beat their donation. Some clubs who had never donated to the AFMS Scholarship Funds made a donation. An artist drew some darling bees to be used for promotion posters.

    A lady from Anchorage sent her pennies with a note that she was so pleased that we were collecting pennies as they meant so little to people-many just toss them away or do not even pick them up. I thought that you might enjoy some facts about their value. It costs the government 0.8 of a cent to make a penny. Last year 14,277,421,000 pennies were made and distributed; so the US Mints made $283,548,520.00 This, also, keeps some of our copper and other mines in operation. A bill was introduced in Congress to eliminate the penny, but there was an opposition of over 70%. Without the penny we would spend over $600 billion more due to rounding off of prices and sales tax. Just one more penny fact. We have deposited the amount equal to over twelve miles of pennies laid side by side.

    Again I want to express my appreciation to the success of this project that was started as a tribute to Luellen Montgomery for all the editorials that she has supplied us through the years, for all the letters she has mailed to honorees, scholarship recipients, and schools of learning. Many ask me if the fund is to continue. Maybe we should suggest that if clubs so desire that they collect the month of the founding of the AFMS Scholarship Foundation, which is March. Arlene, our scholarship Foundation Treasurer, has not heard of this, but I am sure she will gladly accept our donations. Bob Backus, Assistant Show Chair for next year, was not at the convention, but when The Penny Fountain was mentioned to him he immediately said we will have a fountain next year.

AFMS Endowment Fund

By Izzie Burns

    Congratulations to the CFMS Clubs who supported our AFMS Endowment Fund by buying chances on the annual raffle which was held at the AFMS Show in Port Townsend this year. Congratulations to the Kaiser Rock and Gem Club who won the intarsia, donated by Southeast Federation. I have presented the AFMS Endowment Fund with $318.00.

Those contributing were:
Santa Clara Valley GMS
San Diego Lapidary Society
Woodland Hills Rock Chippers
Contra Costa Valley GMS
Oxnard GMS
Art Reno's Club
Long Beach GMS
Convair Rockhounds Association
South Bay LMS
Kaiser Rock and Gem Club
North Orange County GMS
Lodi GMS
And Catherine Davis for $40.00 donation.
Eldorado County GMS
Whittier GMS
Monterey Park GS
Puente Hills GMS
North Island GMS
Mojave Desert GMS
Palos Verdes GMS
San Gorgonio MGS
Sacramento Valley Detecting Buffs
Orange Belt GMS
Ronald Joller's Club
Napa Valley Gem

    If I have missed anyone, please accept my apology and that is not the first mistake that I have ever made.

Reminders From Your Insurance Chairperson

By Fred Ott, Insurance Chairperson

    On occasion, I receive requests from member societies using old forms or requests that are incomplete or illegible. Such requests cause unnecessary additional work and are an added delay in having the documents issued for those clubs. It's important that each request be:

  1. submitted on the most-current form (presently those with the date of 10-16-01 in the lower, right-hand corner). These can be accessed on the Federation's web site: cfmsinc.org;
  2. completed in full (don't refer to prior year's requests; complete each form in its entirety even if the information is the same as the previous year's);
  3. print or type legibly. It's amazing how difficult it is to read some of the hand-written requests;
  4. mailed or faxed to me; don't mail anything directly to the Federation's insurance agent/broker.

    Unless requests are processed through the Federation's insurance committee chairperson, the Federation will be charged additional premiums for the policy.

    By following these simple procedures, the requested documents can be processed in a timely manner.

Junior Activities Report
Recognizing Ray Meisenheimer - and Florence, Too!

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Junior Activities Chair

    I always enjoy recognizing individuals who go above and beyond in serving the educational mission of our clubs' charters. In this way, I offer thanks to these individuals while learning new ideas for each of us to serve youth. This month, I recognize Ray Meisenheimer - and Florence, too! Ray is a member of 3 CFMS-affiliated societies in Ventura County (the Ventura, Oxnard, and Conejo Valley clubs). There's not enough room here to list all Ray does, with Florence at his side, in the service of educating both youth and adults about our hobby. A month doesn't go by without multiple activities; here's a snapshot of just a few:

  • Leading tours for school kids at the Ventura club museum (on one day this involved 100 students!);
  • Loaning specimens to teachers to assist in their classrooms;
  • Loaning VGMS fossils and leading tours at the California Oil Museum for a temporary exhibit on fossils, which drew 5,000 visitors during summer/fall 2001;
  • Assisting Boy Scouts in earning geology merit badges;
  • Setting up and running tables at the annual Science Fair of the Ventura County school district (arranging displays, talking to students, teachers, and parents, and distributing samples of petrified wood);
  • Helping run the hobbies building at the annual Ventura County Fair; displaying beautiful petrified wood slabs at each of the 3 local club shows;
  • Helping to form and install an interactive 'cave' of fossil and rock specimens for a children's museum in Oxnard;
  • Helping run the CFMS Earth Science Studies programs.
  • Lecturing to senior citizens at care facilities in Ventura and Thousand Oaks.

     It's fun to watch Ray work a crowd, especially since he welcomes people challenging him on information. For instance, when he says dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago and he's asked how he knows, he simply responds, 'How do we know 2 plus 2 equals 4? Because somebody told us so!' He'll point out that in coming up with ways to date rocks, earth scientists use the same techniques physicists used to build an atomic bomb or engineers used to put a man on the moon but at a certain point, you have to take someone's word for it. However, he's quick to point out that this isn't necessarily the 'final' word. Scientists don't have all the answers. If you get 6 different geologists in room and ask a question, you'll likely get 6 different variations all verging somewhere toward the truth. Science changes as new theories provide new insights, and you need to be open to change resulting from new discoveries. Science is about interpreting evidence. The more evidence accumulated, the better we can interpret the evidence to accept or reject a particular theory. But with sciences like geology, you're always missing pieces of the puzzle, and uncertainty and debate is part of the scientific process. In his museum tours, Ray focuses on process and on interactive discovery, hoisting specimens and asking for opinions about what it might be, where it may have come from, how it may have formed. Science, kids soon learn, is not about final answers but about the process of discovery, which is why it's so much fun.

    The main thing to note about Ray and Florence's efforts is how they've gone community-wide. Using their base within local clubs, they've moved their educational efforts outward into local museums, the county fair, youth groups, the school system, and many other ways. Their efforts serve as a fine model for how we all might build a bridge between our personal club activities and the community at large. May we all work to build such bridges. Thank you, Ray and Florence, for showing us how!

    Is there someone in your club to whom you would like to say thanks while spreading the wealth by sharing their ideas and activities with the rest of us? If so, please email or give me a call with the details jbraceth@juno.com or 805-6593577

Club Rockhound Of The Year

By Barbara Matz, Chair

    I was pleased to be able to hand out a number of recognition certificates and pins to club Federation Directors at the Placerville show, and the rest have finally been mailed to the respective clubs. This month I received one nomination, listed below. I'm sure there will be many more nominations sent in as clubs resume their full meeting schedule now thot summer is (officially) over.

    The Pasadena Lapidary Society has nominated Harry and Arlene Billheimer as their 2002 Rockhounds of the Year for forty-four years of dedicated service to the society's goals and objectives. Harry and Arlene joined the society in 1958 and have been instrumental in formulating guidelines ever since. Their involvement in society activities has covered all of the responsibilities over the years. Both have been through the positions leading up to and including president.

    Arlene taught jewelry making at Baldwin Park Adult School program for many years. Arlene became active in the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies and made her way through the steps to become President of CFMS in 1991. Arlene and Harry were responsible for organizing and designing the popular Gems and Minerals Exhibit at the Los Angeles County Fair for nineteen years. Harry has been show chairman for the society for a number of years. He and Arlene have been instrumental over many years in deciding the show location and layout, including the storage and return of show materials to the show location.

    In addition, they have served families of Club members when they accepted responsibility as executors and arranged for the disposition of estates' valuables. Their dedication and service to the society continues to serve as an example to members of Pasadena and other gem and mineral clubs throughout the area.
Submitted by Vern Cliffe, Federation Director, Pasadena Lapidary Society.

    At the AFMS show in Port Townsend, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Bonnie Glismann, the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year Chair. She informed me of a significant change that was recently made to the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year Program: the addition of a Junior Rockhound of the Year category. Because the AFMS get their nominations from regional federations, this change affects all of us. So, now each club can nominate both an adult (individual or couple) Rockhound of the Year and a Junior Rockhound of the Year. All such nominations will be recognized and published by the CFMS and forwarded to the AFMS for publication in their newsletter.

    Send your nominations to me:

    Barbara Matz, P.O. Box 7086,
    Petaluma, CA 94955-7086; or
    e-mail: barbmatz@yahoo. corn

    Installation of 2003 Officers

        Our Saturday Banquet event will begin at 6:00 pm with a no-host bar and gettogether.

        Dinner will be served at 7:00 pm.


      Spinach Salad
      Chicken Cordon Bleu
      Green Beans Almondine
      Wild Rice
      Rolls & Butter
      Ice Cream
      Coffee & Ice Tea

        Cost is $21.00 per person (includes tax & tip)

        Make banquet reservations by October 31, 2002

        Mail your check and reservations to:

      P.O. Box 1657
      Rialto,CA 92377-1657

      Fall Business Meeting
      Saturday, November 2, 2002

          The annual Fall Business meeting and election of officers for 2003 will be held at the Holiday Inn Plaza Park, Visalia, CA on Saturday, November 2, 2002.

          The Cracker Barrel and get-together will be held Friday night, November 1, at 7:30 pm in the Cedar/Pine Room. Coffee and tea will be furnished . (Cookies may be brought to Committee meetings held in the Walnut room. )

          The Business meeting will be held Saturday morning, November 2, starting at 9 am. (Directors, be sure to bring your copy of the Agenda mailed to you. ) Any CFMS member may attend the meeting, but only delegates may vote.

          Room reservations must be made directly with the Holiday Inn. There is a special rate for our CFMS event. Tell them you are with CFMS in order to receive this rate.

          You must make these reservations by October 1, 2002, Tel: (559) 651-5000

        Single Occupancy $74.00
        Double Occupancy $74.00
        Triple Occupancy $74.00
        Premium Room $94.00

          Add 10% room tax plus local tax. Check-In time is 3:00 p.m., check-out time is 12.00 noon

      Committee Meeting Reservations

          Committee Chairmen should reserve time now for their Committee Meetings on Friday, November 2, 2002 at the Holiday Inn at Visalia.

          Tentative schedule:

        2:00 - 4:00 Executive Committee
        9:00 - 10:00 pm (aprox.) Scholarship Committee (following the Cracker Barrel)

          Call or write Jack Williams for reservations at:

        2608 Retirement Lane Placerville, CA 95667
        (530) 622-3038
        e-mail: jjent@directcon.net

        Deadline - Committee Chairperson Reports

            Committee reports are to be in the hands of Pat LaRue, CFMS Executive Secretary/Treasurer by Thursday, October 17.

            The reports need to be duplicated and placed in the Directors' packet in advance of the Directors' Meeting in Visalia on November 2.

            Should you be unable to get your report to Pat by the deadline, please make 150 copies of the report to be distributed at the Directors meeting.

        Award Winning Programs - Earn Cash Prizes

        By Marge Collins, AFMS Program Competition Coordinator
        via Oct, 2002 AFMS Newsletter

            Three excellent programs scored 95 or more points to earn 1st Place Winners with "Highest Honors" and $200 each in the 2002 Program Competition.

            In the Educational Class, "Datolite: Crystals, Diversity and Color" a slide program by Wayne W. Sukow (EFLMS & MWF) presents a close-up look at datolite specimens from around the world. Samples from each location have unique characteristics. Some are attractive cabinet specimens while others are best appreciated under magnification. You will have a better appreciation for this somewhat unusual mineral after viewing this presentation.

            In the Field Trip Class, "In Search of South Dakota's Fairburn Agate" a slide program by Doug Moore and Don Kelman (MWF) takes you on a journey to find another colorful, rare species found in areas around the Black Hills. There are several other colorful 'rocks' from the same vicinity, that are sometimes mistaken for Fairburns. Doug and Don show where to hunt, what to look for - and what to look out for - if you want to add this unique agate to your collection or just know more about them.

            In a 'Special Class', "Recovery of the Hyde Park Mastodon" by Jay Tinker (EFLMS) shows the detailed process and complications encountered while extricating. and preserving mastodon remains from a backyard pond - not far from the Hudson River, north of Poughkeepsie, NY. Originally prepared as a Power Point presentation on CD-ROM it will be available as a 35mm slide program, on VHS video or CD-ROM.

            These programs will be available from your Regional Program Library before the end of the year. Contact your Librarian to reserve a date for your use.

            Anyone interested in entering the 2003 Program Competition can watch for the Rules and Entry Form in this Newsletter; contact your Regional Librarian or AFMS Program Competition Coordinator - Marge Collins, (269) 695-4313 or margaret@gtm.net for information or suggestions.

        Boy, Have We Got A Deal For You

        By Dee Holland, AFMS Endowment Fund Chair
        via Oct, 2002 AFMS Newsletter

            This year the AFMS Endowment Fund will have donation award tickets for a commemorative Lewis and Clark limited edition, cast iron dutch oven. This is a special heirloom dutch oven with a reproduction of Lewis and Clark in a canoe, shown in relief on the lid with dates, 1803-1806-2003-2006. If you're not an avid outdoors person, with lots of camping as part of your current life style, you'll still want a chance to just put this on your hearth. Its a wonderful conversation piece.

            Since the Lewis and Clark celebration will begin in 2003, this cast iron dutch oven will be of special interest to you. This will be a significant item for years to come. You might even want to win it so you can take it to your club and auction it off again. The ideas are endless. OR, you can keep it yourself...

            Donation award tickets will be available at the AFMS/CFMS show in Ventura. A limited amount of tickets will also be available before the show, but YOU MUST MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO HAVE SOMEONE AT THE SHOW TO PICK UP THE PRIZE, IF YOU CAN'T ATTEND PERSONALLY. This cast iron dutch oven is just too heavy to mail.

            This special three legged, 7.5 quart, deep-dish pot is designed for maximum cooking versatility. It also has three short legs on the lid so you may use the lid as a fry pan or hot serving platter. The high lid creates the space required for hot air to circulate, allowing for more even cooking. Cooking in the outdoors with this dutch oven just doesn't get any better.

            As usual, after the expense of the pot, all proceeds will go to the AFMS Endowment Fund. Please do your part, contribute to this very worthy cause. You'll be getting an heirloom you will cherish and will be able to pass something of significance on to your children.

        Dee Holland, AFMS Endowment Fund Chairman
        hollandd@salmoninternet.com Or
        P.O. Box 23, Tendoy, ID 83468

        Halloween Safety Tips For Kids And Adults

        By Chuck McKie, CFMS Safety Chairman 2002

            Parents (and grandparents) here are some safety tips to help prepare your children for a safe and enjoyable trick-ortreat holiday. Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun.

            But at all times, remember how much we have been hearing in the news about child abductions. So be double careful and don't let your very young children out of your sight. An adult or an older teen ager should accompany them on the trips.

        • Let them walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks, not in the street.
        • Teach them to look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, and lowflying brooms, to cross the street only at corners.
        • Don't hide or cross the street between parked cars.
        • Have them wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so they are more visible. (And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!)
        • Plan their route and share it with your other family members also.
        • Have them carry a flashlight to light their way.
        • Caution them to keep away from open fires and candles. (Costumes can be extremely flammable.)
        • They should only visit homes that have the porch light on.
        • Treats should only be accepted at the door and never go into a stranger's house.
        • Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover their eyes.
        • They must be cautious of animals and strangers.
        • Have a grown-up inspect the treats before eating. And no one should eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.

        Field Trips

        By Bob Fitzpatrick,
        Field Trip Leader for
        San Gorgonio and Shadow Mountain
        Gem & Mineral Clubs

            This fall I will be leading Rockhounding field trips to some great areas.

        • On October 19th & 20th we will be going to the Garnet Queen Mine for Garnets and other pegmatite gems.
        • On November 27th & 28th & 29th & 30th & Dec.1st to the famous Wiley's Well area where we will go to the Hauser Beds and Potato Patch for Geodes, etc. And then to the Opal Hill Mine for Fire Agate and Zeolites. Also to the Pebble Terrace for Petrified Wood, Fossils, Jasper, Agate and much more.
        • On December 14th & 15th we will head to the Salton Sea area to the Obsidian Butte for Pumice and Obsidian. We will also go to the Mud Pots and then to the Glaurerite Crystal area.

            All interested rockhounds are invited to join us. You must observe the AFMS code of ethics and sign a consent and assumption of risk and waiver of liability form.

            Come for the day or camp out with us. This will be dry camping.

            For more information email me at: RocHoundBob@aol.com or RUROCKY2@aol.com

        Fireplace Safety

        By Chuck McKie, CFMS Safety Chair 2002

            Inspect Fireplaces. Have your chimney inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season. Creosote, a chemical substance that forms when wood burns, builds up in chimneys and can cause a chimney fire if the chimney is not properly cleaned.

            Always protect your family and home by using a sturdy screen when burning fires. Remember to burn only wood--never burn paper or pine boughs, which can float out of the chimney and ignite a neighboring home.

            Never use flammable liquids in a fireplace. If you are purchasing a factory-built fireplace, select one listed by a testing laboratory, and have it installed according to local codes.

             Watch Your Wood Stoves. Be sure your wood or coal stove bears the label of a recognized testing laboratory and meets local fire codes. Follow manufacturers' recommendations for proper use and maintenance. Chimney connections and chimney flues should be inspected at the beginning of each heating season and cleaned if necessary.

            Follow the same safety rules for wood stoves as you would for space heaters.

            Burn only wood, and be sure the wood stove is placed on an approved stove board to protect the floor from heat and hot coals. Be sure to check with your local fire department and check local codes before having your wood stove installed.

             Be Cautious With Portable and Space Heaters. Place space heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible, including wallpaper, bedding, clothing, pets, and people.

             Never leave space heaters operating when you are not in the room or when you go to bed.

            Don't leave children or pets unattended with space heaters, and be sure everyone knows that drying wet mittens or other clothing over space heaters is a fire hazard.

            Cook with Care. When cooking, do not wear loose fitting clothing, which can be ignited by hot burners.

            Always turn pot handles in.

            Don't store items on the stovetop; they could catch fire. Keep kitchen appliances clean and in good condition, and turn them off after use. Don't overload electrical outlets, and don't use appliances with frayed or cracked wires.

             Prepare a Winter Storm Plan. Have extra blankets on hand, and ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, and water-resistant boots.

            Stay tuned for storm warnings by listening to NOAH Weather Radio and your local radio and television stations for updated storm information. Chuck McKie CFMS Safety Chairman 2002

        Attention All Editors

        By Loretta Ogden

            Now is the time for you to get your bulletins, articles and poems together for entry in the CFMS Bulletin Contest. The rules and entrance/ score sheet are in this issue of the CFMS Newsletter. They are self-explanatory but if you need help please contact me either at (909) 598-2456 or (909) 867-4608. E-mail me at donogden@aol.com should that be your chosen mode of communication. These forms are also on the Federation Website cfmsinc.org for you to print and use.

            Good luck to all of you who enter. I know it takes a special effort to gather and send, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience for you and the members of your clubs. Send in those articles you were so happy to print in your bulletin. It may encourage more writing for the newsletter.

        2003 CFMS Bulletin Contest Rules and Procedures for
        Bulletins, Articles, Poems and Special Publications
        Published in 2002

        AFMS Code Of Ethics

            Because the CFMS is affiliated with the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, our memebers observe the following principles: